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therefore in the third volume) he promises to give us the memoirs of them all; and after that, if we do not know what to think of the matter, he will tell us. There is a great deal of wit too, and satire and verses, in the book, which is intended chiefly for the information of the French King, who will be greatly edified without doubt.
I am much obliged to you also for Voltaire's performance; it is very unequal, as he is apt to be in all but his dramas, and looks like the work of a man that will admire his retreat and his Leman-Lake no longer than till he finds an opportunity to leave it*: However, though there be many parts which I do not like, yet it is in several places excellent, and every where above mediocrity. As you have the politeness to pretend impatience, and desire I would communicate, and all that, I annex a piece of the Prophecy t; which must be true at least, as it was wrote so many hundred years after the events.
* I do not recollect the title of this Poem, but it was a small one which M. de Voltaire wrote when he first settled at Ferney. By the long residence he has since made there, it appears either that our Author was mistaken in his conjecture, or that an opportunity of leaving it had not yet happened.
+ The second Antistrophe and Epode, with a few lines of the third Strophe of his Ode, entitled the Bard, were here inserted.
MR. GRAY TO DR. WHARTON.
Pembroke-Hall, March 25, 1756. THOUGH I had no reasonable excuse for myself before I received your last Letter, yet since that time I have had a pretty good one; having been taken up in quarrelling with Peter-house *, and in removing myself from thence to Pembroke. This may be looked upon as a sort of æra in a life so barren of events as mine; yet I shall treat it in Voltaire's manner, and only tell you that I left my Lodgings because the rooms were noisy, and the people of the house uncivil. This is all I would chuse to have said about it; but if you in private should be curious enough to enter into a par
* The reason of Mr. Gray's changing his College, which is here only glanced at, was in few words this: Two or three young Men of Fortune, who lived in the same staircase, had for some time intentionally disturbed him with their riots, and carried their ill behaviour so far as frequently to awaken him at midnight. After having borne with their insults longer than might reasonably have been expected even from a man of less warmth of temper, Mr. Gray complained to the Governing part of the Society; and not think. ing that his remonstrance was sufficiently attended to, quitted the CoHege. The slight manner in which he mentions this affair, when writing to one of his most intimate friends, certainly does honour to the placability of his disposition.
ticular detail of facts and minute circumstances, the Bearer, who was witness to them, will probably satisfy you. All I shall say more is, that I am for the present extremely well lodged here, and as quiet as in the Grand Chartreuse; and that every body (even Dr. Long himself) are as civil as they could be to * Mary of Valens
With regard to any advice I can give you about your being Physician to the Hospital, I frankly own it ought to give way to a much better judge, especially so disinterested a one as Dr. Heberden. I love refusals no more
you do. But as to your fears of Emuvia, I maintain that one sick rich patient has more of pestilence and putrefaction about him than a whole ward of sick poor.
The similitude between the Italian Republics and those of Antient Greece has often struck me, as it does you. I do not wonder that Sully's Memoirs have highly entertained you;
but cannot agree with you in thinking Him or his Master two of the best men in the world. The King was indeed one of the best-natured men that ever lived; but it is owing only to chance that his intended marriage with Madame d'Estreés, or with the Marquise de Verneuil, did not involve him and the kingdom in the most inextricable confusion; and his design upon the Princess of Condé (in his old age) was worse still. As to the Minister, his base application to Concini, after the murder of Henry, has quite ruined him in my esteem, and destroyed all the merit of that honest surly pride for which I honoured him before ; yet I own that, as Kings and Ministers go, they were both extraordinary men. Pray look at the end of Birch's State Papers of Sir J. Edmonds, for the character of the French Court at that time; it is written by Sir George Carew.
* Foundress of the College.
You should have received Mason's Present * last Sat turday. I desire you to tell me your critical opinion of the New Odes, and also whether you have found out two lines which he has inserted in his third to a friend, which are superlative t. We do not expect the
* The four Odes which I had just published separately.
+ I should leave the Reader to guess (if he thought it worth his while) what this Couplet was, which is here commended so much beyond its merit, did not the Ode conclude with a Compliment to Mr. Gray, in which part he might probably look for it, as those lines were written with the greater care. To secure, therefore, my Friend from any imputation of Vanity, whatever becomes of myself, I shall here insert the passage.
While thro' the west, where sinks the crimson Day, Meek Twilight slowly sails, and waves her banners gray.
world, which is just going to be invaded, will bestot much attention on them; if you hear any thing, you will tell us.
MR. GRAY TO DR. WHARTON.
June 14, 1756. THOUGH I allow abundance for your kindness and partiality to me, I am yet much pleased with the good opinion you seem to have of the Bard; I have not, however, done a word more than the little you have seen, having been in a very listless, unpleasant, and inutile state of mind for this long time, for which I shall beg you to prescribe me somewhat strengthening and agglutinant, lest it turn to a confirmed Phthisis.
I recommend two little French books to you, one called Memoirs de M. de la Porte; it has all the air of simplicity and truth, and contains some few very extraordinary facts relating to Anne of Austria and Cardinal Mazarine. The other is in two small volumes, “ Me* moires de Madame Staal." The facts are no great matter, but the manner and vivacity make them interesting. She was a sort of Confidante to the late